Combining family and finances – Westfair Communications

Hiral Shah, Private Client Advisor at JP Morgan Wealth Management in Mount Kisco, with his wife Vidya Bhat, Principal of Waverly Elementary School in Eastchester, and their children Bodhi and Asher. Photographs by John Rizzo.

It doesn’t take long after meeting and talking with Hiral Shah to realize that he is a family man with a difference: His family is not limited to his wife, Vidya; their sons, Bodhi and Asher; their daughter, who is due to arrive this month; and their two dogs, Seven and Chewy. Indeed, for Shah, the idea of ​​family extends to the people he sees as a private client advisor at JP Morgan Wealth Management in Mount Kisco.

“We are part of my clients’ lives,” Shah told WAG. “Most of my clients know my wife. Most of my clients have met my children. We are truly part of my clients’ lives because they invite us into theirs. I think the most important part of all of this is that my spouse is really supportive of me.

Shah explains that spouse career support is mutual. His wife is the principal of Waverly Elementary School in Eastchester, where she is known by her professional name, Vidya Bhat. He says following and encouraging the development of his career was as important to him as developing his own career.

“She went from teacher to vice principal of secondary school to now principal of primary school and earned a doctorate in education all night long,” Shah says. “I think supporting each other breeds success in itself. It makes the marriage all the more successful, to support each other.

Shah says he makes a major effort to ensure that when he’s not spending time with clients, he’s spending time with his immediate family, whether at home in Purchase or away.

“There is a balance between this work-life cycle, appreciating the beauty that nature has to offer,” Shah says. “That’s why we live in Westchester County – visiting parks and playgrounds and walking with our rescue dogs and teaching my children sports and athletic skills and knowing that I will one day be able to coach and cheer them on. The important thing is to ensure that the work-life cycle is intact.

Part of that work-life balance is supporting the Beagle Rescue League, a non-profit organization in Bucks County, Pennsylvania dedicated to rescuing Beagles, educating the public about the breed, and finding permanent homes for rescued Beagles, including some that had been used in laboratory research and were specially bred for this purpose.

“We adopted a few dogs along the way,” Shah says. “We went to Pennsylvania thinking, ‘Hey, let’s find one,’ and sure enough, we found our dog Seven. Our other dog: We went to a shelter on Long Island and fell in love with Chewy. He is a small enough dog for children to play with. He’s got that overbite and that’s what led to the name Chewy, like in Chewbacca from “Star Wars.”

Boy’s jersey

Although Shah was born in Dakor, India, he moved to New Jersey with his parents when he was 9 months old. He grew up there in Wallington before moving to Paramus, where he attended Paramus Catholic High School. He graduated from the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark with a degree in computer engineering, with a minor in math and business.

“Schooling actually served as a catalyst for my desire to pursue personal wealth management,” Shah says. “I realized that computer engineering wasn’t really my real calling. I didn’t really have a passion for it like my other roommates there and decided not to pursue it as a career opportunity. During my third year of studies, I did an internship in a financial firm, and this experience sparked my interest in what I could bring to this field.

While pursuing his internship in Somerset, New Jersey, he fell completely in love with the financial field, including helping companies find financing.

“I think this internship was really eye-opening because I really saw people in all walks of life help find ways to help a business or a person,” he adds.

He realized he could apply the problem-solving skills and discipline inherent in computer engineering to wealth management and financial decision-making.

“I am a problem solver. I like solving problems,” says Shah. “I just realized that problem solving allows me to think beyond the typical algorithm, your typical logic. The most rewarding part of this is helping the client achieve their financial goals and live their best life. If I find my true calling, why not help clients live their best life? You get to make a difference one person at a time.

His first job out of college involved cold calling, making numerous phone calls seeking clients.

“It was a small brokerage firm,” he recalls. “I loved the energy. I loved the camaraderie. There were no cabins. There were only long desks and people working at 7 in the morning, and sometimes you would still see the same people at 8 in the evening. It was just a good vibe when you’re just starting out, getting first-hand experience, and having your managers sitting right next to you. You pick up everything you can instantly.

After a few years, Shah went to a big financial company and was a registered investment partner, working with a great team.

Make a plan

On October 5, 2016, Shah – who has a financial advisor for two decades, including 13 at Mount Kisco, and became a Certified Financial Planner – received the new Emerging Financial Leader Award at Westfair Communications’ “CFO of the Year Westchester County” event. In that moment, he says, receiving the award reminded him, “Not only do I have a lot more to learn and grow, but I have a lot more to contribute to the profession to improve it for the next generation. finance academics. »

The most rewarding aspect of being a financial advisor? This would be when the team manages a multi-generational estate, he says:

“What I mean by that is dealing with grandparents, their children and now grandchildren. To me, this demonstrates a high degree of established trust and customer satisfaction, as people only want the best for their family and close friends. We are part of our customers’ lives and vice versa. It’s the power of relationships and I think that’s the main reason why I find my role so fulfilling.

WAG asks Shah how he and his team at JP Morgan would go about getting to know a new client and offering financial planning recommendations.

“First, my entire team and I sit down with you to discuss your financial and personal goals, your current financial situation, your liquidity needs and your risk tolerance,” Shah says. “Knowing more about you would help us put together a goal-based analysis and come up with our recommendations to help you get the most out of your money. If you’re working with a married couple, we generally like working with both spouses to ensure that both are involved in the planning process and aligned.I offer my clients a very personalized level of service, but I am also able to offer them the global resources of JPMorgan Chase, such as research JP Morgan award-winning and educational content and professionals in banking, mortgages, estate planning and more.

Shah says advances in technology have been beneficial in maintaining close contact with customers and executing financial plans:

After all, that’s what families do best: stay connected.

“Our priority is our customers. We want to provide them with a frictionless experience and the ability to connect with wealth management professionals who can meet their needs. Some tools have changed over the years and make my work more efficient. I’m talking about digital signatures and virtual meetings, but ultimately it’s about staying connected. »

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